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Goodwill Manasota promotes two to VP roles

Melissa Carman is the new VP of engagement while Alexa Olivas is elevated to VP of donated goods operations

SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Two members of Goodwill Manasota’s leadership team have recently been elevated to vice presidential roles, in recognition of longtime, dedicated and successful experience with the organization as well as to increase the capacity of the nonprofit, which serves Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Hardee counties, and northwest Charlotte County.

Melissa Carman, who was hired by Goodwill Manasota in 2008, began her service as an assistant and has risen steadily through the ranks ever since, with roles including support & recognition manager, director of board & support services, and senior director of board & community engagement. Her new title is vice president of engagement; in that role, her key responsibilities include overseeing the support team, project management, and marketing as well as serving as the liaison between the President & CEO Donn Githens and the board of directors.

Alexa Olivas was hired by Goodwill Manasota in 2009 on the retail operations side. Since that time, she has been promoted numerous times, with positions including assistant team leader (store management), manager of bookstores & clearance centers, operations manager, director of donated goods operations, and senior director of operations. Her new title is vice president of donated goods operations, a new position resulting from the division of donated goods operations and retail. This move will expand the capacity of the nonprofit, which will maximize revenues to support its Mission Services.

Carman and Olivas have both been working toward their Master’s degrees – Carman recently earned hers for Human Services and Olivas will complete hers in Business Administration in August – with tuition provided through Goodwill’s “Pursuit of Education” program aimed at workforce upskilling.

“We are so fortunate to have dedicated, skilled and motivated professionals like Melissa and Alexa on our team,” said Githens. “We take pride in engaging and – when it has been so well earned – elevating the brightest and most talented professionals to help advance our mission of changing lives through the power of work. I am looking forward to seeing our organization grow even stronger as Melissa and Alexa fulfill their new roles.”

Carman and Olivas join Goodwill Manasota’s executive team: Donn Githens, president & CEO; Bob Stanell, financial/treasury; Adrian Gessen, senior VP of organizational development; Margie Genter, VP of mission services; Brady O’Neil, VP of donated goods retail; and Angela Gerholdt, VP of HR and risk management.

The sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations fund Goodwill Manasota’s Mission Services. With these revenues, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, justice-involved individuals, and those with other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. Approximately 76% of Goodwill Manasota’s team members have a self-identified barrier to employment.

For more information, visit

PHOTO ID: Goodwill's executive leadership team is (seated, l-r) Melissa Carman, Donn Githens and Alexa Olivas; (standing, l-r) Angela Gerholdt, Brady O’Neil, Adrian Gessen, Bob Stanell and Margie Genter

Courtesy photo/Goodwill Manasota

About Goodwill Manasota

Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit or call 941-355-2721.


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